Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You'd think water was an abundant resource hereabouts...

“Good morning, municipal offices.”

“I need to report that my water pressure has suddenly gone away. Who do I report this to?”

“You can tell me about it. What is wrong?”

“My water pressure is too low, something is wrong with the water supply to my house.”

“I don’t understand. What means your water pressure is too low?”

“The water coming into my house…when I turn on the taps I barely have any water.”

“What is your account number, please?”

“This has nothing to do with my account…my account is current. I need to know if there is a break in the water main or if someone is working on the water lines near me…and if not, then I need to report a fault.”

“What is your account number?”


“Just a moment.” Long pause and background noises. “Sorry, that account doesn’t exist. Did you give me the right number?”

“220440789.” Another long pause and background noises. “Who is the account holder?”

“Mr. RN Smith. I am Mrs. Smith.”

“And what is your address?”

“ #24 Oudtshoorn Drive.”

“ #24 Outlook Drive.”

“No, Oudtshoorn…like the town…O-U-D-T-S-H-O-O-R-N.”

“I will make a query for you.”

“No! I don’t want you to make a query, I want you to tell me why I don’t have any water pressure and how long the problem is anticipated to last.”

“You will get that information from the query.”

“How long will that take?”

“Forty-eight hours.”

“That is unacceptable!! If there is a water main break, that means water will be running for two days before someone fixes it. This is unsanitary…I don’t have enough water pressure to fill my toilet tank, so I can’t flush my toilets. I don’t want a query lodged, I want this reported now and I want to know what is going on.”

“I will make a query for you.”

“That is unacceptable. Let me speak to your supervisor.”

Extended pause and a long, muffled background conversation with a male voice.

“My supervisor can’t come to the phone. She is on a call.”

“Then put me in contact with someone who can help me.”

“I can help you.”

“You are not helping me at all, please connect me with someone who can.”

Click. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The line is dead.

Guess who is about to write a letter to the mayor…


  1. aaah - Africa. Only one of the reasons I left...

  2. Sorry Anonymous but I don't agree with you, in Italy sometimes is even worse. Maybe Italy is becoming The third world of Europe.
    VERY NICE BLOG, I will come back soon!

  3. Very interesting blog - and writing. Signed up to follow so indeed I will be back! Your story didn't have to be Africa however, tho I can appreciate the frustration (and humor there somewhere too). I lived in rural U.S.A. and for those years I may have as well been on another planet! No doubt you'll have a running list of things that may have been taken for granted. I look forward to hearing of your "advertures".

  4. goog blog! water today in The blue gold but is very important for everybody...

    sorry for my english, i am italian

    see you soon!

  5. Haha. As soon as you mentioned that the Municipal Worker said they could help you if you told them about the problem, they could help you. HAHAHA. Municipal Worker. Help. Customers.

    You might notice that water pressure in Cape Town fluctuates when there are heavy rains. Don't know why... it just happens. Give it a few yours and it'll sort itself out. Otherwise call a plumber.


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